Local Bites

About the podcast

Local Bites is a podcast that tracks ideas and initiatives that resist corporate power, renew place-based economies, and preserve human and ecological well-being. Our goal is to feature the voices of activists and visionaries from all around the world who are driving creative grassroots initiatives that demonstrate the power of 'going local'. Produced by Local Futures, an international nonprofit organization dedicated to the renewal of community, ecological health and local economies worldwide.
February 16, 2018 @ 10:54 am

Episode 7 - From GDP to GNH

Richard HeinbergCountries around the world are fixated on growing their economies - but is growth doing more harm than good? In this episode, Richard Heinberg discusses the history behind how GDP growth came to be used as a measure of success, why GDP can't continue growing indefinitely, and why it's time to transition to a better metric - one that better reflects human and ecological well-being.

Related links:
- On our blog: 'Life in a degrowth economy, and why you might actually enjoy it'
- On our blog: 'From growth to degrowth: a brief history'
Richard's articles on the Post Carbon Institute website
Richard's articles on Resilience.org
Much more detail about the Jevons Paradox
A PDF version of Limits to Growth

Music used:
Chris Zabriskie: "Cylinder Three", "Is That You or Are You You?", "Readers! Do You Read" (CC BY 4.0); Kevin Macleod: "Windswept" (CC BY 3.0); Tri-Tachyon: "Edge of the Wastelands" and Circus Marcus: "Beethoven - Bagatelle op.119 nº9" (CC BY-NC 4.0)

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July 10, 2017 @ 12:59 pm

Episode 6 - Rebuilding Healthy Communities: The Growing Ecovillage Movement

Kosha JoubertSocieties and communities everywhere are under threat from an increasingly corporatized global economy that is shifting power and resources from the many to the few and separating us from one another and from nature. Around the world, however, an increasing number of people are actively looking to re-establish the bonds of interdependence and recreate community living in tune with nature.

In this episode, Anja Lyngbaek interviews Kosha Joubert, the Chief Executive Officer of the Global Ecovillage Network (GEN), about the rapidly growing ecovillage movement, which sees the ecovillage concept being adopted and adapted by a multitude of people and diverse cultures across the globe. Kosha speaks of the multiple social and environmental benefits of ecovillages, including the mitigation of climate change. We hear of a host of inspiring initiatives, including rural villages in China choosing to transition to ecovillages, Senegal´s national ecovillage strategy, tried and tested ecovillages in Asia and emerging initiatives in Palestine and Gambia that offer youth an alternative path to the migration to big cities.

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September 9, 2014 @ 10:16 am

Episode 5 - Seeds of Resilience, Seeds of Sovereignty

DebalDeb2crop.jpgHumanity has lost nearly three-quarters of its agricultural biodiversity in the last century. Now, in the face of an increasingly volatile climate, conserving the remaining seed diversity is a matter of survival. In this episode, Local Bites interviews ecologist and renowned seed conservationist, Dr. Debal Deb on the value of traditional seeds in an unstable world. Deb argues that traditional seeds are vitally important, not just to ensure food security, but also for protecting local food sovereignty against the corporate control of food systems around the world. Deb shares insights from his work conserving and sharing over 900 indigenous seed varieties in eastern India, and he talks about why ecological farming, a communitarian ethos, and localization are all key components of his conservation efforts.

For more information about Dr. Deb's work, read Seed Savior, or watch one of these short films by Jason Taylor of The Source Project: "The Farmer, the Architect and the Scientist" (made for The Gaia Foundation), and "Food Web Theory". 

Image credit:
Jason Taylor

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April 28, 2014 @ 1:36 pm

Episode 4 - Why Local Ownership Matters

stacy_0047-320x480.jpgIn this episode, Local Bites interviews Stacy Mitchell of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance to talk about the multiple social, economic and environmental benefits of local business ownership and community-scaled financial institutions. Mitchell lays out the evidence for why local ownership matters, and provides a thorough debunking of the idea that large, global corporations are more efficient or create more jobs than smaller-scale, community-rooted enterprises. After warning listeners about the growing consolidation of economic power in the hands of fewer and fewer global corporations, Mitchell exposes the policy decisions that have led to such concentrated ownership. She concludes by highlighting several promising initiatives from the growing localization movement, and articulating the key components of a 'localist policy agenda'.

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February 19, 2014 @ 7:25 pm

Episode 3 - Local Alternatives to Globalized Development: A View from India

In this extended episode, Local Bites interviews scholar/activist, Ashish Kothari about his book, Churning the Earth: The Making of Global India, co-authored by Aseem Shrivastava. During the first half of the interview, Kothari provides a sobering account of the social and environmental impacts of globalized development in India, arguing persuasively that the costs outweigh the benefits, and calling into questions a number of taken-for-granted assumptions about "economic growth", "progress", and the so-called inevitability of urbanization. In the second half (28:24), Kothari highlights a diverse range of localist alternatives taking place in communities throughout India, forerunners to what he calls 'radical ecological democracy', that can "take us all to higher levels of well-being, while sustaining the earth and creating greater equity."

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December 19, 2013 @ 2:50 pm

Episode 2 – How to Feed the World? A Political Agroecological Approach

In this episode, Local Bites interviews Dr. M. Jahi Chappell of the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy on the question, "What kind of food and farming system do we need to feed a growing world population in an ecologically sustainable and socially just manner?" His responses challenge widely-held notions about the future of our food supply.

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November 13, 2013 @ 6:25 pm

Episode 1 – Helena Norberg-Hodge on how corporate ‘free trade’ deals threaten local communities and economies worldwide

In this episode host Brian Emerson interviews Helena Norberg-Hodge on how "free" trade treaties undermine local communities, economies and democracies around the world, and why localists need to join the global resistance against the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Trans-Atlantic Free Trade Agreement (TAFTA, also known as TTIP). Norberg-Hodge ends her interview by suggesting an alternative international framework for supporting more democratic, localized solutions to global problems.

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Local Bites


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